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Carmen Pineiro, LMHC

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Recovery Skill Support Group

Posted by medpin@aol.com on March 19, 2021 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (11)

 


*Learn Recovery Skills and Relapse Prevention Skills*

*Share Stories, Thoughts and Struggles*

*Group in English Monday, Wednesday and Friday*

* Group in Spanish Tuesday and Thursday* 

*All groups are at 1 pm*

*Email us to get the Group Link*


VIRTUAL Support Group Rules

1. Be on time

Sign in time: 1:00pm-1:10. After sign in, the virtual room is locked and no one will be allowed to join in.  Check in/ice breakers start promptly at 1:10 pm, no exceptions. If you are court mandated, be on time.

2. Be present and focused

You are to be fully present and intentional.  NO grocery shopping, NO exercising, NO working, NO distracting activities are allowed.  For those that are court mandated to attend, please note that a progress report is provided to your counselor on your participation and engagement at the end of each group.

3. MUTE your microphone

The group facilitator will ask you once to mute your microphone if there is background noise. You will  be muted  manually if background noise continues.

4. Stay on topic 

The group topics are related to relapse prevention and how to maintain recovery; share stories related to that days group topic.  

5. Do not use alcohol or drugs before attending group.

 If we suspect that someone is under the influence we will ask them to kindly leave.

6. No Violent behavior or language 

NO blatant disrespect or verbal attacks by any member to others will be tolerated.  

7. Confidentiality is a must

Everything discussed will be treated with respect and should only be discussed in group for the participants privacy. What is said in the group stays in the group!

While we are virtual, it is of the utmost importance that you do everything possible to be in a private location so that other individuals cannot hear or see what is going on in group.

8. Respect others choices, feelings and experiences.

Share you feelings just as they are and as best you can. There are no right or wrong statements. Sharing is a gift to everyone in the room. Listen, learn and be respectful always.

9. Take responsibility

You knows what is best for you, therefore you carry the primary responsibility for your well-being during the group. If at any time you need to leave or take a break, for any reason, you are free to do so.  If needed, send a private chat to the facilitator to inform your reason to be excused.  

10. Be supportive, appreciative and non-judgmental.

 Everyone’s presence is appreciated and can be a source of healing for others. No one is required to speak during the meeting. Silence is acceptable. Listening is a gift, too.

11. Learn from each other

  This is an opportunity to observe and learn from the experiences of others. Embrace the opportunity to learn from your peers, see their unique talents, and pick up on their strategies which have helped them in recovery.

12. Listen respectfully

Only one person may speak at time. Do not interrupt. When a person speaks, listen actively, with the goal of relating their experiences to your own.


Breaking these rules may result in permanent dismissal from group.

The group is a safe place where you can share feelings, obtain support, and receive encouragement. The group is broadly defined. It is…

EDUCATIONAL, SUPPORTIVE, & NON-JUDGMENTAL

It flows with your needs and interests, respectfully & kindly!!


 


The Power of Addiction: Maxie's Struggle

Posted by medpin@aol.com on October 28, 2017 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (1)


Have you tripped and fallen into the rabbit hole of addiction? It can get pretty scary, rather quickly! Addiction engulfs your mind and body digging deeper regardless of the humiliating and devastating consequences. There are many theories explaining how addiction develops, but that isn't the purpose of this story. Here, we will focus on how one young girl maintained her addiction, the struggles she faced and how she overcame them.

 

This is the story of a girls named Maxie. She got absorbed by behaviors which at first seemed harmless, even fun, but quickly got out of control. Then, in the blink of an eye, she got addicted and found herself in a downward spiral dragging her down and into the cycle of addiction. Once addicted, she was stuck. She never thought it would happen to her. She struggled for a few years and received a few bumps on her head before finally realizing something had to change. Keep reading to find out what changed and how she was able to get out of the rabbit hole and started living a sober life.

 

Maxie, a shy and quiet high school student, didn't have too many friends. Maxie endlessly desired to fit in and be a part of the group. She hoped to be invited to a party but never was. Maxie’s lonely days changed her junior year. Finally, she was invited to a party. Maxie was excited. She planned her party outfit and rehearsed different scenarios in her mind, on how that night would unfold. The night arrived and to her surprise it was nothing she had imagined. Everyone was drinking. They didn't seem to be themselves.

 

A friend offered her a drink. Maxie thought about the consequences but how could she say no? She had yearned to fit in and have friends. She was finally at a party and socializing. Maxie eagerly accepted the first drink and then some. Maxie's fears drowned in the alcohol, one after another. Maxie felt confident and quickly became the life of the party. She transformed into an outgoing, friendly and even flirtatious teen. She felt a sense of belonging. Her life changed after that night. Shy Maxie? Never again.

 

Maxie continued partying and drinking through her high school and college. There was always a good reason to go out and of course, have a drink. Her alcohol tolerance increased. With time, she needed more alcohol to feel "good" and fit in." More and more each time, she drank till she blacked out. Maxie was unable to remember all the fun she had. There had to be a solution to this!

 

Yes, a she found a helpful solution. A friend gave her cocaine to level out. Cocaine allowed her to drink more and for longer periods of time without the obnoxious black outs. This reminded her of junior year and her first party. Again, she felt confident, she was unstoppable.

 

Maxie immediately was hooked on cocaine. Together, alcohol and cocaine helped her avoid emotions surrounding the shy, quiet, lonely girl. Then like with alcohol, her tolerance for cocaine increased. She needed more to make the feeling last. Drink after drink, bump after bump, it was never enough for Maxie. She needed more, it kept her confidence high. Fun turned into a constant battle for more.

 

The excessive amount of alcohol and cocaine caused Maxie to react aggressively. Outings usually turned into verbal disagreements and sometimes even into fist fights. Maxie argued with everyone around her for minimal reasons. She wasn't the life of the party any longer. Maxie's "friends" stopped inviting her to parties. No one wanted to deal with her attitude. Her friends stopped calling her. Maxie did not understand why her friends avoided her, if she was so much fun to be around. She was filled with confusion, why?

 

Maxie, the shy girl who desperately longed to fit in felt sad and lonely. First, she blamed her friends and those around her. "It's not me, it's them.” Then, she tried to convince herself she was better off alone. "I don't need them!" She tried to convince herself but it was difficult to get rid of how depressed and hopeless she felt. But wait! There was one thing that made Maxie 'feel better,’ alcohol. So, she drank thinking that would be the solution. It's interesting how our minds help us in the worse times.

 

Drinking eased her pain, temporarily. She drank then felt worse, the following day. Day after day, she drank and drank more, to numb the pain. It was unbearable to get out of bed. Every morning she took a drink to get out of bed. Some days, she arrived on time to work and most days she was late. It wasn't easy keeping herself together during work. Her work performance decreased. Coworkers noticed her changes in mood and tiredness. Eventually, Maxie was fired for excessive tardiness and sick days. Again, she created excuses; they were exploiting her and treating her unfairly she explained. She drank more to alleviate the pain and loneliness.

 

By age 21, Maxie had no friends, no meaningful intimate relationship, and no employment. Even worse, she was in denial. Maxie was in a vicious cycle and continued to make excuses. She tried hard to get her life together but drinking always interfered and brought her down. As Maxie's life became more and more meaningless, she got deeper and deeper in to the addiction cycle.

 

Blaming, justifying and avoidance produced predictable results; results contrary to what Maxie wanted deep inside her heart. These ineffective behaviors make difficult situations worse. The deeper one gets into the cycle of addiction, the more depressed, ashamed and numb one feels. Imagine falling into a rabbit hole and just digging deeper and deeper. You try to climb out but fall back in. You try to jump out and never get high enough to pull yourself out. Then finally it hit her. The way she was digging wasn't leading anywhere and realized something had to change.

 

With the help of a STOPP-E counselor, Maxie became aware of long learned behaviors that kept her stuck and worked daily on changing. She connected with her values and learned how to manage her emotions, one day at a time. She accepted there were going to be good days and bad days and how to be patient and compassionate with herself. Today, Maxie is in college pursuing a bachelor’s degree, she is employed and sober.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and are willing to turn their life around, Borinquen's Behavioral Health STOPP-E program can help. One of the experienced STOPP-E counselors can help you start on the pathway to recovery. Like Maxie, you can stand up and face whatever is holding you down.

Am I Addicted?

Posted by medpin@aol.com on August 10, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)



There is no easy way to determine one is addicted.. Oftentimes warning signs are either not recognized or ignored. When dealing with addiction, we easily come up with excuses or rationalizations to explain our behavior and dig ourselves further into the hole. You tell yourself "I have it under control," and "I can stop at any time." And miss any warning sign that arises. It can take time and a multitude of consequences to begin to wonder "Am I using too much?"


If you began to wonder about how much you’re using and addictive behaviors, what follows will help you come to a conclusion and decide whether or not it is time to ask for professional help. Take a deep breath and honestly, ask yourself the following:


Does your life revolve mostly around drugs or alcohol?

Do you avoid family or friends who don't use?

Do you feel uncomfortable if drugs or alcohol aren't available?

Do you think of using all day?

Is it rough to get through the day without using?

Has your tolerance increased causing you to use more?

Have you missed work or school because you were too tired from using the night/day before?

Have you felt guilty or regretted something that happened while using?

Has a friend or loved one expressed concern or complained about your using?

Have you had legal problems due to your use?


If you answered "yes" to more than four questions, then you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol. It takes great strength and courage to face addiction. Admitting there is a problem is the first and most important step. Reaching out and asking for help is the next step.


If you are struggling with addiction, do not despair. You are not alone, there is hope. You can get back in control of your life and begin to live a substance free life. No matter how strong your willpower, you cannot defeat addiction on your own. You need an addiction treatment center that can provide you with the tools and support that you need to overcome the disease. The time is now to make that choice. What are you waiting for? Call 305-576-1599 ext. 3127 or 3117. One of our counselors are ready to answer any questions you may have and ready to offer the help you need. Call Now.


Sober Fourth of July

Posted by medpin@aol.com on July 2, 2017 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Celebrating Fourth of July sober this year? Any ideas on how to spend this day off work surrounded by family and friends while BarBQing and enjoying the ongoing celebrations without a drink?


Fireworks and alcohol are a common theme as we celebrate our countries independence. Individuals in recovery must remain vigilant even while celebrations are going on. It is a perfect opportunity to assert your own independence by saying no to alcohol. Although challenging for those early in recovery with proper planning the Fourth of July or any other occasion can be fully enjoyed SOBER. 


Who says you need alcohol to enjoy the Fourth of July? Here are five tips to an enjoyable, sober day:


1.  Attend a 12 step meeting. During any holiday there are more meetings available. Search for one near you to find out holiday schedule and any activities happening.

2.  Get together with other sober friends. Round up a group of friends who are in the same journey as you. Where ever you go you won't feel alone and can serve as a strength for one another.

3.  Plan a sober party. You choose the place, refreshments and meal to serve and invite those who support you in your sober journey.

4.  Be prepared with responses to turn down alcohol if offered. If attending a party,

5.  Play games or sports. Stay active, keep busy and don't forget to laugh.


Now go and celebrate independence day and have fun. You can do it!!! Wishing everyone a safe and sober Fourth of July surrounded by your loved ones. Comment below how you stayed sober this Fourth of July.

Feeling Down? Get Up & Do Something! 20 Ideas

Posted by medpin@aol.com on May 1, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

When you're feeling depressed usually nothing will improve your mood or cheer you up. You have no motivation, all you want to do is lay in bed and let you mind loose thinking how bad things are and how much worse they can get.


Will overthinking help you feel any better? Probably not. Will doing absolutely nothing help you feel any better or fix the situation? Probably not. Your mind is working overtime thinking negatively except what you CAN do to make things better. Then what can you to begin feeling a little better?


Here are 30 ideas of activities which you can start doing that will improve your mood. Set a daily intention. Start small. Get up from bed and try one today. Here are some ideas to help brighten your day....


-Listen to music, write the lyrics, then sing loudly, no matter how ridiculous you sound

- Go outside during the day, sit down, feel the warmth on your skin, notice the beauty of the sky, the clouds trees, and listen to the birds sing

- Go to the beach, walk barefoot on the sand, feel the sand between your toes as you look for sea shells on the water shore

- Help someone out, share a meal, call a friend and ask if they need some help, carry someone's groceries, help and elderly cross the street or open a door

- Read a magazine, look for pictures or words that catch your attention and create a vision board

- Fix something at home, loook around for little things that need to be fixed

- Go online, search for different activities or clubs going on around where you are for example book clubs, exercise classes, social gatherings

- start a garden, plant different seeds, tend to it daily and watch different seeds blossom

- Call a few friends, invite them over for snacks, coffee, or dinner

- Cook a healthy lunch or dinner, smell the different spices you cook with, feel the different textures of the veggies, steaks, feel the temperature of the different items as you prepare to cook them

- walk around the block, look around and find different things that you had never noticed before

- Smile, softly, then a big smile, smile again and again

- Draw stick figures of yourself, your family, your friends. Try drawing a dog, a cat, a bunny.

- Look for old pictures, remember old times and memories and create a memory album

- Make a list of positive qualities, things you are grateful for, dreams, or hopes

- Attend church regardless of denomination and allow yourself to sit there in silence,observe and listen to a service

- Watch funny movies, stand up comedy, or anything humorous. Just laugh, laugh a lot.

- Learn a new language, listen closely to the pronounciation, repeat the sounds as best as you can

- Serve yourself a glass of water, take a sip, focus on the temperature of the water, the taste, pay attention when you swallow and focus on it as it flows through your body

- Take a deep breath, inhale the good, exhale the bad and remember everything will get better shortly.


These are just 20 ideas. Depression can become a downward spiral if you get up and get active no matter how much you mind tells you "no" your depression will spiral upward into who knows....happiness?

U.S. Presidents: Also Struggle with Drugs and Mental Illness

Posted by medpin@aol.com on February 20, 2017 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (1)

 


On February 20, as we celebrate our Commanders In Chief, we take a look at those who have lived in the White House and who have struggled with addiction to raise awareness on how addiction affects any family, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, gender or race.

According to an analysis of presidential biographies conducted by psychiatrists at Duke University Medical Center published in 2006 in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease nearly half of the first 37 American presidents from 1789 to 1974, including two of the four U.S. leaders featured on the iconic Mount Rushmore, met the criteria for a psychiatric disorder. The study found that depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcohol abuse/dependence were the most common diagnosis affecting the country’s first 37 presidents. More than half of these men struggled to manage their symptoms while also leading the country, the researchers found. (no similar analysis has been done on Presidents 38 to 45). *

Here are a few U.S. Presidents who have had their bout with alcohol or drugs:

 -One of the most famous stories of drug use among a United States President was when President Clinton tried to downplay some youthful pot use. He insisted that he didn’t “inhale.” Although embarrassing for the Presidential candidate at the time, this incident became the catalyst for a new truthfulness from future candidates. 

-Another incident includes, President Barack Obama admitted to getting high when he was younger. However, while still in the White House, President Obama gave up smoking after a long addiction to nicotine.**

 -George Bush was known to drink heavily in his youth. In 2008, CNN reports that George Bush at a white house meeting that he quit drinking at 40 years old.***

 Mental illness and addiction can affect any person or family. Knowing that prominent individuals such as our United States Presidents also are sat risk and struggle with addiction instills hope when in recovery.

 

*Mental Illness In U.S. Presidents Between 1776 and 1974: A Review of Biographical Sources. Davidson, Jonathan R. T. MD; Connor, Kathryn M. MD; Swartz, Marvin MD Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease: January 2006 - Volume 194 - Issue 1 - pp 47-51 doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000195309.17887.f5

**Maya Rhodan. “Why it Matters if Obama Smokes (and Why it Doesn’t), The New York Times, June 11, 2015. Accessed January 25, 2017. http://time.com/3916342/barack-obama-smoking

 ***http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/11/bush.alcohol/

Valentine's Day in Recovery

Posted by medpin@aol.com on February 11, 2017 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

During the month of February, you are surrounded by images of red or pink hearts. Everywhere you turn you see candy hearts, chocolate boxes, cookies and cards. The day to celebrate Love, February 14, is here. Can everyone agree that there's no way to escape Valentine's Day?

 

So how do you celebrate Valentine's Day while in recovery? Let's use this day as an opportunity to furtherprogress in your Journey of recovery. here are some ideas that can help you celebrate Valentine's Day

 

- Send some love to your loved ones. Call your parents, brother, sister and friends on this day. Reach and remind your loved ones, specially those who have supported you through your recovery how much they mean to you. The biggest gift you can give a loved one is that you remain clean and sober.

- Start rebuilding damage relationships. When in active addiction, people become focused on themselves and relationships get damaged because of the alcohol and drug use. On Valentine's Day, take a step towards rebuilding those relationships that may have been damaged along the way. Send someone you hurt a valentines card, even a short hello text expressing your appreciation and gratitude. Don't get discouraged if you don't get a reply, remember it takes time to rebuild relationships.

- Spend time with others. remember you're not alone in your recovery spend time with friends, family and those who are supportive. You can go to a meeting, invite a friend or family member to Starbucks. If you choose to stay in, cook dinner for a friend or loved ones and talk.

- Take care and love yourself. Get to know yourself and start to rediscover life, clean and sober. Take a walk in the beach, go on a picnic, go to the movies. Pamper yourself. Celebrate how far you've come.

- Volunteer your time. Volunteering is a great way to give to others on valentines day. Providing service and help to others is a part of the recovery journey.

 

Just because you're in recovery doesn't mean you can not celebrate Valentines Day. February is a month filled with love. What better way to spend your day than with those who are supportive and mean the most to you? Happy Valentine's day to all.

Speaking Out About Mental Health

Posted by medpin@aol.com on January 2, 2017 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

"Asking for help when you're struggling is a sign of strength. Find the strength and speak up. Using my voice has always been a part of my professional life, but that wasn’t always the case when it came to bipolar disorder. Despite the setbacks, I finally found the strength to speak up " Demi Lovato

 

In Florida, approximately:

 

- 525,000 adults and 181,000 children live with serious mental illness, bipolar disorder, severe depression or schizophrenia *

- 1,021,000 adults were dependent on or abused alcohol*

- 422,000 adults and 124,000 adolescents were dependent on or abused illicit drugs*

- 120,000 adolescents had at least one major depression episode*

 

We all know someone who is struggling with a mental health condition. It can be anyone from a family member, friend or even a co-worker. Although the best person to talk with is a psychiatrist or counselor, initial support from a family member or friend can make a huge difference in the process of getting help and feeling better. A simple as a phone call, text message, even a private Facebook message can help someone with a mental health condition know they are not alone.

 

Discussing a mental health condition can be a difficult conversation to have. What can you do? What can you say? Here are some suggestions:

 

- Be accommodating, choose a time and place that is calm to have the conversation

- Let them know that you are concerned

- Use "I" statements, for example, "I am worried..."

- Listen without judgment, assumptions, or interruptions

- Be sensitive in the wording you use, don't use stigmatizing words, "crazy"

- Acknowledge their feelings

- Ask how you can help them

- Suggest to seek help or make appointment with a professional

 

Don’t hesitate or be afraid. Let the person know how you feel. If they aren't prepared to talk or seek help immediately, follow up with them in a few days to see how they are doing. Remember, be patient. If you show acceptance and concern, then that may lead to them opening up and speaking up.

 

 

If you know someone who is struggling with a mental health condition and need further help, feel free to contact 305-576-1599 ext. 3127. One of our experienced counselors will be glad to assist you with questions or concern. You can also find interesting article and posts if you visit our Facebook page @Stoppeprogram. Call or visit our Facebook page, we would love to hear from you.

 

 

** Estimates are annual averages based on combined 2009–2013 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) survey data

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/State_BHBarometers_2014_1/BHBarometer-FL.pdf

Replace Stigma with Hope - Mental Illness Awareness Week -

Posted by medpin@aol.com on October 1, 2016 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (1)

This year, Borinquen Medical center along with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and organizations nationwide calls on everyone to shine a light on mental illness and replace stigma with hope. During the week of October 2-8, BMC will raise awareness about mental illness with the hopes to reduce stigma, provide support, educate and advocate for equal care. Let's come together with compassion and help improve the lives of those 43 million adults living with a mental illness.

 

Individuals and families affected by mental illness are often subjected to stigma and discrimination. This makes is difficult to open up and discuss symptoms even with a doctor. The fear and stigma of living with a mental illness can often become isolating. Therefore, on this particular week we ask those living with a mental illnesxs, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar or substance use to stand up and speak up. Make on appointment with a doctor or mental health counselor, tell your friends, support someone who is struggling!!

 

Here are some celebrities who have openly shared their struggle with mental illness:

 

1. Emma Stone - childhood panic attacks

 

2. Demi Lovato - depression bipolar

 

3. Dwayne Johnson, The Rock - depression

 

4. Sarah Silverman – depression and panic attacks

 

5. Barbara Streisand - social phobia

 

6. Dolly Parton - depression

 

7. Drew Barrymore - depression and substance use addiction

 

8. Howard stern - OCD

 

9. Jim Carey - depression

 

10. Michael Phelps - ADHD

 

11. Mel Gibson - bipolar

 

12. Paula Abdul - bulimia

 

13. DMX - bipolar

 

14. Britney Spears - postpartum depression and bipolar

 

15. Leonardo DiCaprio - OCD

 

At BMC’s behavioral office counselors will be available to provide free screenings tools, education and answer any questions about mental health condition or treatment, October 2-8, 2016, at 100 NE 38 St, Unit 5, between 9 am and 4 pm. Together we can replace stigma with hope.

STOPP-E Achievement Celebration

Posted by medpin@aol.com on September 16, 2016 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Maintaining sobriety after completing residential treatment can be challenging for most. Adjusting to a sober life and staying motivated are just two of the many challenges people face. Every day you get the opportubity to acknowledge and celebrate your success maintaining abstinence or alcohol or drug free.

 

On September 16, 2016, Borinquen's STOPP-E substance abuse program recognized and celebrated along side program participants who have been clean and sober for over 6 months. STOPP-E counselors and outreach specialists, served lunch, raffled prizes and honored those individuals who are on their recovery journey.

 

As i look around the room i see a variety of faces, White, Black, American, Hispanic, young and old. They differ in race and ethnicity, and all have different lifestyles and experiences throughout their lives. However they all share on thing in common and that is what joins them together, addiction.

 

After having lunch, The Stopp-E team invited whoever felt comfortable to share their struggle with drugs or alcohol, consequences that they faced and how their lives have changed since they started the process of recovery. what follows is a piece of their journey.

 

Darrell, a black 53 year old male began using drugs and alcohol for about half of his life. He described how his drug use did not allow him to see he needed help. Drugs controlled his life and kept him stuck in a vicious cycle. He was so deep in the addiction he was unable to get out and would deny any help offered by those around him. He continued repeating over and over the same vicious patterns that kept him stuck in the addiction. After many years of not helping himself or allowing others to help, one day he says he got tired. He decided to look for the help on his own that had been offered many times. He took the first step and began the recovery process. Now, with almost a year clean, he realizes how things have changed for him. With a smile on his face he says, "Now I see a bigger picture." He proudly shows a certificate he recently received. He looks over to Don Crews, outreach specialist and says, "Don is a big part of this." Darrell explained how outreach goes into known drug filled neighborhoods and connects with those on the street. Don offers condoms and help those who are ready begin taking steps towards recovery. "No matter how many times you tell him no or give him excuses he continues trying, he laughs. Darrell finishes by thanking the entire STOPP-E team for their support and allowing him to be part of the achievement celebration. "I am a part of this crew"

 

The 2nd person to share their story is Nichelle. She is a 48 year old black female who detailed her fight with addiction and described what it physically did to her. "the disease had me all caught up, I snorted so much cocaine, I had a hole through my nose and the top of my mouth". She began using since a young age. Throughout the years, She tried getting clean many times. It was either because others pushed her to go into rehabilitation or it was court mandated due to legal consequences. She had been in and out of several drug rehabilitation programs but never did she complete any of the . She was just not ready and did not put any effort in recovery. She would comply for a few days or weeks and when she had to face the reality of being sober she'd give up and take off. "I could dress up the outside but I needed to fix the inside." Six months ago something changed. On her own, she made the choice to "fix herself from the inside out!" She did something different, something she had not done before. She took the first step towards the recovery journey, and got help. She began with outpatient and continued to residential. One day at a time and step by step all pieces began to fall into place. Nichelle thanked Emanuella Fleurimont, STOPP-E counselor intern, for supporting her since the first day when she was enrolled in STOPP-E. "Emmanuella followed up on me, she called me just to ask how I was doing, and showed me she cared unconditionally." Nichelle came accompanied by friends who are supporting her through her journey. She has learned the benefits of staying sober and building positive and healthy relationships. Its a tough journey but with sufficient support chances of staying sober are greater. With great emotion she finishes by sharing, "I'm grateful you have allowed me to be a part of this program, the STOPP-E program."

 

Martin Pierce, one of Nichelle's guests asked if he could say a few words. He expressed he was not an addict himself, however has been surrounded by plenty of family and friends who struggle with addiction in his 84 years. He spoke about the importance of having someone unconditionally. He attested to Nichelle's progress and seen how the STOPP-E program, has helped positive affected her.

 

In this achievement celebration the entire STOPP-E team would like to recognize all of those who have successfully completed and graduated from the STOPP-E program. They are Darryll Burchett, Nichelle Miller, Harlow Howell, Chippetria Adams, and Anthony Dishmey.

Maintaining sobriety after completing residential treatment can be challenging for most. Adjusting to a sober life and staying motivated are just two of the many challenges people face. Every day you get the opportubity to acknowledge and celebrate your success maintaining abstinence or alcohol or drug free.

 

On September 16, 2016, Borinquen's STOPP-E substance abuse program recognized and celebrated along side program participants who have been clean and sober for over 6 months. STOPP-E counselors and outreach specialists, served lunch, raffled prizes and honored those individuals who are on their recovery journey.

 

As i look around the room i see a variety of faces, White, Black, American, Hispanic, young and old. They differ in race and ethnicity, and all have different lifestyles and experiences throughout their lives. However they all share on thing in common and that is what joins them together, addiction.

 

After having lunch, The Stopp-E team invited whoever felt comfortable to share their struggle with drugs or alcohol, consequences that they faced and how their lives have changed since they started the process of recovery. what follows is a piece of their journey.

 

Darrell, a black 53 year old male began using drugs and alcohol for about half of his life. He described how his drug use did not allow him to see he needed help. Drugs controlled his life and kept him stuck in a vicious cycle. He was so deep in the addiction he was unable to get out and would deny any help offered by those around him. He continued repeating over and over the same vicious patterns that kept him stuck in the addiction. After many years of not helping himself or allowing others to help, one day he says he got tired. He decided to look for the help on his own that had been offered many times. He took the first step and began the recovery process. Now, with almost a year clean, he realizes how things have changed for him. With a smile on his face he says, "Now I see a bigger picture." He proudly shows a certificate he recently received. He looks over to Don Crews, outreach specialist and says, "Don is a big part of this." Darrell explained how outreach goes into known drug filled neighborhoods and connects with those on the street. Don offers condoms and help those who are ready begin taking steps towards recovery. "No matter how many times you tell him no or give him excuses he continues trying, he laughs. Darrell finishes by thanking the entire STOPP-E team for their support and allowing him to be part of the achievement celebration. "I am a part of this crew"

 

The 2nd person to share their story is Nichelle. She is a 48 year old black female who detailed her fight with addiction and described what it physically did to her. "the disease had me all caught up, I snorted so much cocaine, I had a hole through my nose and the top of my mouth". She began using since a young age. Throughout the years, She tried getting clean many times. It was either because others pushed her to go into rehabilitation or it was court mandated due to legal consequences. She had been in and out of several drug rehabilitation programs but never did she complete any of the . She was just not ready and did not put any effort in recovery. She would comply for a few days or weeks and when she had to face the reality of being sober she'd give up and take off. "I could dress up the outside but I needed to fix the inside." Six months ago something changed. On her own, she made the choice to "fix herself from the inside out!" She did something different, something she had not done before. She took the first step towards the recovery journey, and got help. She began with outpatient and continued to residential. One day at a time and step by step all pieces began to fall into place. Nichelle thanked Emanuella Fleurimont, STOPP-E counselor intern, for supporting her since the first day when she was enrolled in STOPP-E. "Emmanuella followed up on me, she called me just to ask how I was doing, and showed me she cared unconditionally." Nichelle came accompanied by friends who are supporting her through her journey. She has learned the benefits of staying sober and building positive and healthy relationships. Its a tough journey but with sufficient support chances of staying sober are greater. With great emotion she finishes by sharing, "I'm grateful you have allowed me to be a part of this program, the STOPP-E program."

 

Martin Pierce, one of Nichelle's guests asked if he could say a few words. He expressed he was not an addict himself, however has been surrounded by plenty of family and friends who struggle with addiction in his 84 years. He spoke about the importance of having someone unconditionally. He attested to Nichelle's progress and seen how the STOPP-E program, has helped positive affected her.

 

In this achievement celebration the entire STOPP-E team would like to recognize all of those who have successfully completed and graduated from the STOPP-E program. They are Darryll Burchett, Nichelle Miller, Harlow Howell, Chippetria Adams, and Anthony Dishmey.


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